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Bearing Witness at MICA, The Contemporary Museum and other sites opens Friday, May 7

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The Contemporary Museum and MICA’s Exhibition Development Seminar present Bearing Witness: Work by Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, a mid-career survey of work by artists Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry to be shown at the Contemporary Museum, 100 W. Centre St., and various host venues throughout Baltimore, Saturday, May 8-Saturday, July 31.

Opening Reception: Friday, May 8 at The Contemporary Museum 6-8 p.m.

This exhibition will feature more than 10 years of work by McCallum and Tarry and will premiere their Projection Series–a new self-portrait video and painting series composed of film stills and stage photographs that investigates the intersection of race and popular culture–as well as feature selections from earlier site-specific projects, which is artwork created for a particular space.

A collaborative artist team since 1998, Brooklyn-based artists McCallum and Tarry have worked and exhibited globally, seeking to surface and discuss issues revolving around marginalized members of society. Their work, which takes many forms including large-scale public projects, performance, sculpture, painting, photography, video and self-portraiture, challenges audiences to face issues of race and social justice in family, community and history.

“Jackie and I have chosen to create works that draw audiences in and challenge them to think about the civic issues of our time and the historic underpinnings that inform these issues,” McCallum said.

“Our goal is to create artwork that has a visceral, physical and emotional presence,” Tarry said. “We create installations that encourage viewers to navigate the personal memories and experiences of an individual story contained within a broader social and political context.”

Bearing Witness connects McCallum and Tarry’s community-based projects, which were initially displayed in public spaces, with their gallery-based video, painting and installation works. In presenting these projects together for the first time, this exhibition will reveal the layered conceptual, aesthetic and historic threads in their practice. It will simultaneously make connections between McCallum and Tarry’s work and Baltimore’s local issues, institutions, histories and communities.

The artists envision a journey between venues as a reflective framework for viewers to consider the individual artworks, their own personal connections to the city and the collective responsibility of all citizens in an imperfect society.

The Contemporary Museum will be the primary exhibition site for Bearing Witness. Additional sites will serve as temporary homes for works by McCallum and Tarry that relate directly to those institutions’ collections and missions. They include MICA, the Carroll Mansion, Maryland Art Place, the Phoenix Shot Tower, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, and The Walters Art Museum.

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